A Journey Across The Straits of Florida
On May 28, 2018, three American kayakers left Havana on an attempt to paddle across the Straits of Florida to the United States. After 27 hours and 12 minutes of nonstop paddling, they landed in Key West, making them the first documented, unsupported single kayakers to successfully make the crossing from Cuba to Florida.
But they were not the first to make the voyage. Thousands of Cuban refugees have attempted to cross the Straits of Florida, risking and sometimes losing their lives in the process. Juxtaposed with the stories of four Cuban refugees who have rebuilt their lives in the United States, THE CROSSING is a visceral journey across dangerous open ocean that explores the complex issue of forced human migration and asks: What is the human cost of closed borders?
27 hours of nonstop paddling
“It’s not only that you’re leaving your world behind. It’s that you know you might die, and that many others before you have passed away crossing the Florida Straits. So many immigrants, so much of the world, just want to raise their families and have a good home, but they can’t because of a political situation. To think that immigrants are a drain on society is false — we are who we are because of decades of immigrants.”
— George Boué, Cuban refugee